From Justice to Love

  • John Wilson

Abstract

Like Plato, I think there are such reasons so far as justice is concerned; but I am bold enough to claim that Plato did not see clearly enough into the heart of them. I suspect that this was because he put the paradigm case or model of such commitment — personal love — behind him, for reasons of his own (some of which are traceable in the Symposium). But however that may be, we should begin by considering such a case. A loves B: and we mean by this, of course, not just that A has some kind of passion directed to his image of B, but that he takes B seriously, knows what B is like, faces the reality of B, and is committed to that — to the real B. Now, what is there in this for A? Not, centrally, anything we might want to call ‘pleasure’: B may bring A a lot of grief, anxiety and so forth. Happiness? Here we rightly feel ‘yes and no’: no, if ‘happiness’ is tied too tightly to notions like contentment, security and lack of anxiety; but yes, if it involves also the idea of an enriched consciousness and a meaningful existence. (A full analysis would end in a ‘yes’, in my view: see Wilson, 1979.) The idea of life being worth living, ‘meaningful’, in any case preferable (A would not do without B, however much grief B caused him)? Certainly that; and that, after all, is the kind of thing we are after in seeking intrinsic reasons for commitment.

Keywords

Rubber Encapsulation Sonal Stake Shoe 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© John Wilson 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Educational Studies and Mansfield CollegeUniversity of OxfordUK

Personalised recommendations